After almost 2 years with my pro xl, I’ve found 75% or so of things I want to make are more then doable on my shapeoko but from time to time I run into a project where I think the essentially zero kerf of a laser would come in really handy. My initial thinking was just adding a laser to my pro xl as that seems to be the route many shapeoko users go but as I have my machine set up in my basement, I can’t really think of a safe way to exhaust the smoke. Even though i know it will likely cost significantly more, I’m now thinking a stand alone unit might be the smarter and safer way to go. I was hoping to get some recommendations from folks who may have been in the same position as me and what the ended up with. I don’t need a a very large work area, something on the smaller side is fine. I would like the ability to cut out wood, not just engrave. Maybe some work in acrylic as well. Being able to cut out metal would be cool as well but I doubt something capable of that is in my budget. As this would more of a occasional use item, I don’t really want to spend a huge amount of money on it, but I’m fine with something in the ball park cost of a shapoeko. Many thanks to anyone who ay be able to steer my in the right direction.
Try the LA hobby guy forums and youtube, there’s lots of good advice there. My own experience, don’t like ikier or atomstack, maybe try xtool.
There’s a lot of good advice on youtube, try Make or Break Shop, or Justin Laser.